AJ Bowser and Pastor Todd Anderson : Handcrafted

Handcrafted · 41:16 · Recorded December 31, 2017

Handcrafted

God has always had a vision for you!

You are handcrafted!

Psalm 139:14-16 (NLT) Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous–how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

Ephesians 2:10 (NIV) For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Vision begins when we put ourselves in a place of listening obedience to God.

Nehemiah was a man of prayer and a man of ready obedience to God.

Psalm 16:7-8 (NIV) I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

1. Vision must begin and end with God.

Nehemiah knew the difference between a good idea and a God idea.

Romans 1:20 (NLT) For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature. So, they have no excuse for not knowing God.

2. Feel your concerns and find your passions.

Nehemiah was shattered over the state of his people in Jerusalem.

Nehemiah 1:3-4 (NLT) They said to me, "Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire." When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven.

3. Take time to pray, plan, and prepare…waiting time is not wasted time.

Nehemiah prayed and planned so that he was ready when it was time to act.

Nehemiah 2:4-8 (NLT) The king asked, "Well, how can I help you?" With a prayer to the God of heaven, I replied, "If it please the king, and if you are pleased with me, your servant, send me to Judah to rebuild the city where my ancestors are buried." The king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked, "How long will you be gone? When will you return… I also said to the king, "If it please the king, let me have letters addressed to the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River, instructing them to let me travel safely through their territories on my way to Judah. And please give me a letter addressed to Asaph, the manager of the king’s forest, instructing him to give me timber…" And the king granted these requests, because the gracious hand of God was on me.

A God-sized vision will seem impossible…focus on the what and the why, not the how.

What God initiates, he orchestrates.

Proverbs 16:9 (NIV) In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

4. Involve the community surrounding your vision.

Share the vision God has given you.

Nehemiah 2:18 (NLT) Then I told them about how the gracious hand of God had been on me, and about my conversation with the king. They replied at once, “Yes, let’s rebuild the wall!” So they began the good work.

You will have critics…So, lean on God.

Nehemiah 4:4-5 (NLT) Then I prayed, “Hear us, our God, for we are being mocked. May their scoffing fall back on their own heads, and may they themselves become captives in a foreign land! 5 Do not ignore their guilt. Do not blot out their sins, for they have provoked you to anger here in front of the builders.”

Prayerfully consider a re-vison of the plan.

Nehemiah 4:9 (NASB) But we prayed to our God, and because of them we set up a guard against them day and night.

Nehemiah 4:15 (NLT) When our enemies heard that we knew of their plans and that God had frustrated them, we all returned to our work on the wall.

5. Consider the caution needed for your vision.

Don’t get distracted.

Nehemiah 6:2-4 (NASB) Sanballat and Geshem sent a message to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together at Chephirim in the plain of Ono.” …So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?”

Don’t be tempted to take shortcuts.

Nehemiah 5:14-15 (NLT) For the entire twelve years that I was governor of Judah…neither I nor my officials drew on our official food allowance… But because I feared God, I did not act that way.

Don’t forget: The end of a God-ordained vision is God.

  • Do you have trouble seeing yourself as “handcrafted” by God? What are some qualities about you, specifically, that you can see are especially suited to the vision you have?

  • What are some steps you need to take to begin to be more tuned in to God’s vision for you?

  • What visions do you have that are good ideas? God ideas?

  • Do you have any visions that seem impossible? What are steps you can take to prepare yourself in smaller increments?

  • Nehemiah shows us a great example of how we might involve our community in our vision. As you consider the vision God has birthed in your heart, who is the community that you need to let in on that dream? How should you prepare to hear criticism of your vision, and how might you respond to it?

  • As you work to avoid the distractions of criticism and potential short cuts, how can you maintain focus on God being glorified as the motivation for achieving your vision?

  • Hey Kids! Today we talked about accomplishing God’s vision for your life. What exciting things do you think God has for you to accomplish in 2018? Talk as a family about those things, how you might accomplish them, and what you think God’s plans might be for your life!

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  • Fierce

  • Good Good Father

  • Faithful To The End

  • God I Look To You

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